New Delhi: Delhi High Court today upheld the 10-year jail term awarded to former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala and three others for corruption in a teachers' recruitment scam case. Justice Siddharth Mridul also upheld the 10-year sentence of Sher Singh Badshami and two IAS officers Vidya Dhar and Sanjiv Kumar, saying they “vilified” the process of recruiting teachers and “marred” the exercise by “corruption”. The judge also said that the convicts “challenged the ethical standards of other public servants” and “pressurised” others to do their bidding.
The high court also modified to two years the sentence of the remaining 50 convicts. It disposed of all the bail applications pending before it and directed them to surrender. It also said that those who have already served their two year sentence, will be released.
78-year-old Chautala had on February 7 moved the High Court challenging his conviction and sentence, seeking suspension of his jail term on the ground that “he was unwell and suffering from various ailments”.
The INLD chief, his MLA son Ajay Chautala and 53 others including two IAS officers were convicted on January 16 by the trial court for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers in Haryana in 2000. The court had awarded 10 years imprisonment to Chautalas and three others—Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, Chautala's former Officer on Special Duty Vidya Dhar, both IAS officers, and political adviser to the then Haryana CM Sher Singh Badshami.
All the 55 convicts had been convicted and sentenced under sections 120B(criminal conspiracy), 418(cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of the IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.